USTR Targets Telecommunications Trade Barriers in India and China


Annual Report Highlights Cross-border Data Flows, Competition Issues, Legal Restrictions on Foreign Access, and Local Content Requirements, Other Roadblocks Faced by U.S. Telecom Suppliers and Exporters.

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman has outlined barriers faced by U.S. telecommunications service and equipment suppliers, in India and China and also identified specific telecommunications-related issues on which USTR will focus its monitoring and enforcement efforts this year.

The annual Report of the 1377 Review, details the operation and effectiveness of telecommunications trade agreements pursuant to Section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (“1377 Review”).

The 1377 Review highlights both longstanding and emerging barriers to U.S. telecommunications services and equipment exports, which – when unimpeded – are a significant source of jobs here at home.

“Barriers to trade in telecommunications-related goods and services disproportionately affect U.S. suppliers, given our strong competitive position in these sectors.  We have made important progress this year in advancing market liberalization in this sector, though we continue to see the emergence of new barriers data flows and other localization requirements,” said Ambassador Froman, “The 1377 Review and the follow-up work we do  each year are aimed at addressing these barriers and opening markets for U.S. telecommunications goods and services.  USTR will continue to use these tools to support U.S. jobs and ensure that U.S. companies have a level playing field to supply new and innovative products and services abroad.”

The report says that the government of Pakistan has not fully addressed efforts by local participants to create a cartel for the provision of international calls, limiting opportunities for U.S. telecommunication companies to provide this service in Pakistan;

Other issues in this year’s 1377 Review focus on a broad range of concerns, including, the ongoing restrictions on the provision of voice-over the Internet (VOIP) services in China and India, the lack of an independent and effective telecommunications regulator in China which limits meaningful market access for companies in China.

The report also highlights concerns about undue restrictions on the ability of U.S. satellite service suppliers to provide satellite transmission capacity to customers in both China and India and the progress in U.S. telecommunications suppliers’ ability to obtain competitive access to facilities in India where submarine cables connect to the Indian terrestrial network.

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